A Day in the Life

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So, I decided to write down the events of one day to open a little window into our life. I picked Monday of last week and it ended up not being our best day. But it wasn’t our worst, either. So here it is from 6:30am Monday to 6:30am Tuesday:

6:30am: Lucy wakes up for a feeding but goes back to sleep afterward (5th waking of the night! Whew). Daniel gets up and so does Benjamin. They work in the garden. I go back to sleep thanks to Daniel watching our boy and thanks to my headphones playing a Harry Potter audiobook that drowns out all the Benjamin noise.

7:23am: Lucy is up for good and Daniel brings her in to our bedroom. I get up, make a cup of coffee, have some granola, share a banana with Lucy, and chat with Benjamin while Daniel packs up and bikes off to work (we share a car).

7:45am: It’s gloomy, mosquito-y, and soon to be stormy, but I promised Benjamin an outing. Parks and the outside museum are out due to weather, so we decide on the Museum of Florida History.

8am: I get dressed, change and nurse Lucy, and pack the diaper bag. Miraculously, when I ask Benjamin to use the potty and get himself dressed, he does it! He even puts on the shorts I requested instead of the thick but “soft” pajama pants he tries to wear every day. Success!

8:45am: (yes, the previous tasks took us that long) Benjamin finds a kid’s music CD that I probably tried to hide so I wouldn’t have to listen to it. I agree to play it in the car. Because I’m a selfless woman. It takes Benjamin about 10 minutes to get his shoes on, but hey! He didn’t need my help, so I’m not complaining!

9:03am: We’re off! And listening to the dreaded ‘kid’s music’ which ends up being rather catchy. Benjamin educates Lucy and I on the various kinds of construction equipment we see on our way. He also reveals his desire to “someday be a kangaroo.”

9:15am: We park and I snuggle Lucy into the Maya Wrap. I make a mental note to let Benjamin decide our route through the museum. No friends or playmates are joining us today, so he has my complete attention which is exactly what he wants.

9:22am: We sign in and reach B’s most desired spot: The animatronic Giant Armadillo. Then Benjamin pulls the lever that reveals what the ocean looked like around Florida in prehistoric days. He continues to do this several times and I’m not sure that he’s really supposed to be sitting on the exhibit next to the lever…but I decide to pick my battles.

9:30am: We reach the reconstructed Mastadon bones. Benjamin also reveals how much he “looooooves dioramas.” To each his own, amirite?

9:40am: We reach the newest exhibit and B has a blast climbing all over the reconstructed Spanish ship. There are several fake people (do you call them mannequins when they’re in a museum?) dressed in historic clothes. He sees one that looks like his back has been flayed and asks if I think the man suffered from “a little bit of eczema.” Lucy is looking around and smiling. Typical for our sunshine girl.

10:30am: We scurry through some other exhibits and then go to the gift shop to get our parking token. I remember how much I hate taking children in gift shops. Why is everything set out on their level where their little curious hands can grab!? Ugh. I remind Benjamin that we’re going to make bubble tea if he can leave nicely. That prospect paired with some mama Jedi mind tricks convinces him to take my hand and walk to the parking lot. It’s pouring down rain, but the kids think it’s grand and run/skip to the car.

10:45am: Back home. I nurse Lucy. Then the kids roll a ball around the living room while I make quesadillas and bubble tea. Lucy eats a banana.

11:30am: After lunch, we’re playing ball again and B sits up hits my nose. I cry out in pain and B’s response is to do it again, on purpose. I try to explain that hurting someone on purpose is not acceptable behavior. Benjamin decides to hit me to test this theory. I have to carry him to his room for time-out. After a minute of crying, he calms down and starts reading books. I come in and read a chapter of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to a contrite Benjamin while Lucy plays with board books.

12:15pm: Naptime for everybody. I tuck Benjamin in, then change Lucy and nurse her to sleep. I take some soiled diapers into the bathroom to spray them off. All is quiet and after taking care of a few blogging things, I sneak back to my room to try to get a nap in (since I’m perpetually sleepy due to L’s nighttime nursing schedule.)

12:57pm: I hear Benjamin start coughing and my mama radar goes off. It just doesn’t sound right. I sneak into his room and lay down with him. He keeps sleeping for a few minutes before having a coughing fit and cough-induced vomiting. Hello, tapioca pearls from the lunchtime bubble tea. He cries and I clean him up and give him a shower. I’m so relieved that I went in there so that he wasn’t alone when he woke up coughing and throwing up.

2:00pm: I make cup of coffee #2. Lucy wakes up. I snuggle with Benjamin and give him a breathing treatment of albuterol to help with his tight cough while Lucy plays.


2:30pm: I try to clean the kitchen in-between “mama I need”s. Daniel is going to cook dinner and the least I can do is give him a clean kitchen to work with, right?

3:13pm: I try to encourage Benjamin to drink water and take it easy. When all else fails, I just put some Netflix shows on the laptop at the kitchen table for him. I can really clean the kitchen and  he actually sits still so he doesn’t aggravate his breathing trouble.

4:00pm: We read more Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, color, cut up construction paper with scissors, etc. Benjamin eats an apple and a yogurt and granola parfait. Lucy snacks on yogurt.

5:30pm: Daniel gets home and I cut Benjamin’s hair while Lucy plays and he makes dinner. I give the kids a bath to get all the “itchies” off Benjamin’s neck and shoulders. The novelty of having Lucy in the bath, too, has worn off and Benjamin is annoyed that “she keeps grabbin’ all the things” he wants to play with. I scoop her out with a towel, put a clean diaper on her and then go back to help Benjamin out of the tub. He dries off, gets out some undies and puts them on inside out and backwards.

6:00pm: Dinner is served! Fried okra, local sausage fried up with onions and swiss chard over grits. Lucy tries grits. Everything is delicious.

6:30pm: Benjamin’s tight cough is getting worse so we do another breathing treatment. I start to feel worried about his breathing and cough and wish the pediatrician’s office wasn’t already closed. We decide that a good night’s sleep would probably be better than taking him to urgent care where he would just get another breathing treatment and we put the kids to bed.

8:00pm: As usual it takes Benjamin forever to fall asleep and the albuterol doesn’t help matters. Daniel decides to sleep on the floor in B’s room to check on his breathing and help him settle back to sleep if he coughs in the night.

10:00pm: Lucy wakes up. I go in and nurse her immediately instead of waiting my usual 1-2 minutes to see if she will just fall back asleep so that she doesn’t cry and disturb the boys.

11:15pm: B wakes up crying and coughing and can’t seem to stop. I hear him and grab a towel from the bathroom on my way into his room. I get there with the towel just as he starts to throw up. He’s disoriented and upset and it takes a long time to help him settle down. I bring him a spoonful of honey to help his cough and make him a cup of herbal tea. He takes the honey but skips the tea. Daniel gives him a puff of albuterol.

12am: Lucy wakes up again. Sigh. I nurse her back to sleep.

2:00am: Benjamin wakes up coughing again. Daniel calms him down while I get some honey for his cough.

3:23am: Lucy gets up again. I nurse her back down. Are we seeing a pattern here?

5:30am: Benjamin wakes up again coughing. Daniel gets up with him and gives him a breathing treatment

5:40am: Lucy wakes up again. I nurse her and she goes back to sleep.

6:30am: Daddy goes to work early in case I need him to come home early because of Benjamin’s asthma situation. And we wait for the pediatricians office to open…

Boy, that ended in kind of a downer. So that you’re not left in suspense, Benjamin is recovered, Lucy went back to only waking up 2-3 times a night, and we survived the week (but we did eat beans and rice two nights for dinner). The truth is, we’re tired a lot. Being a parent isn’t easy, but I’m so grateful that I get to care for these sleepless, wonderful babes. There will be plenty of sleeping through the night when my babies are grown, right? In the meantime, I’m honestly pretty worn out. But my two reasons for being tired make it all worth it, a thousand times over.

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  1. says

    What a fun idea! Though of course, Benjamin being sick is a downer. I am so glad he’s recovered.

    I really, really enjoyed your food post, previously.

    What does Daniel do when he bikes away for the day? Zach asked me the other day after he had biked home for the day and found me reading your blog, and I realized I didn’t know.

    Zach has to leave on his bike at about 6:15am, so I feel tiny, benign pangs of jealously at the early morning gardening situation.

    Adios, friend.

    • Haley says

      Daniel is doing software testing at a company about two miles from our house. We look forward to the day when we have some land and he gets to do more farming and writing (he’s just the most splendid writer/poet). But in the meantime, very grateful for good insurance and such a nearby work that he can easily bike or run and we can still share a car.

      And now I can’t remember what Zach is doing these days. Schooling of some kind and work, too? Is that right?

      D usually leaves at 7:45 which does give us a little bit of gardening/leisurely bfast time which is really nice. 6:15 is early!

      • Amy says

        Haley, yes, it is early! Zach has been teaching high school physics and chemistry at an alternative school for at-risk students since February of last year. Anyhow, I’m not sure how long he’ll be teaching, but is very good for now. He finished school Dec. 2011.

        2 miles is awesome!

  2. says

    Loved this post. And hey, I love knowing that you guys are getting up at night as often as we are. (Although I’m quite sorry you have to, it makes me feel more normal – please don’t think me horribly selfish!)

    • Haley says

      Haha, not horribly selfish at all, Abbey! It makes me feel better that other people’s children do this so I know my kids aren’t non-sleeping-through-the-night freaks. 🙂 Last night B had a slumber party at grandma’s house and L only woke up twice in the night. It was like heaven!

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